France:100 Francs 1987 La Fayette


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1987
Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Diameter: 31 mm
Weight: 15 grams (13,5 g. fine silver, = 0,435 oz.)
Mintage: 5, 000, 000 (approximate)
Obverse Design: Portrait of La Fayette
Reverse Design: Tree of Liberty


Between 1986 and 1996 the French authorities issued several commemorative coins celebrating the bicentenial of the French Revolution. In 1986, a 100 Francs coin representing the creation of French sculptor Bartholdi : the Statue of Liberty (for the centenial of its inauguration in NYC) was a big success in terms of hoarding and purchase, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The next year, the French Mint decided then to issue another coin with a French/American theme : General La Fayette, a hero of the American Independance war, and a (more controversial) leader in the French Revolutionary Army.


The Obverse represents the portrait of General La Fayette, reproducing a medal of the 18th Century by the Engraver Duvivier (who also designed type sets of Louis XVI before 1790). On that coin the General is wearing a costume of Officer of the American Army. Under the portrait is a small flower, mark of the "Atelier de Gravure" (team of Engravers of the French Mint), and the abreviation "D'ap . B . Duvivier" // "After B. Duvivier" in English. Encircling the portrait on the outer periphery, are the words "Général La Fayette" and "République Française" // " French Republic" in English.

The words "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" // "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" in English, appear on the Reverse, arranged as a tree of Liberty, with a phrygian cap on the top. Beneath are the facial value, mint marks and year. On the right side is the flower mark again, with the signature of the designer for the Reverse : Durand-Megret.

The edge is smooth.

Obverse Reverse
87OBV.jpg 87REV.jpg

Detailed Mintage Figures

1987 Essay 1, 850
1987 4, 821, 000 (BU Silver included)
1987 Proof Silver 30, 000
1987 Piefort Silver 100, 000 (95 % Silver)
1987 BU Gold 10, 000
1987 Proof Gold 20, 000
1987 Piefort Gold 50
1987 Proof Palladium 7, 000
1987 Proof Platinum 8, 500

General Market Notes

As for the previous commemorative coin "Statue of Liberty", many BU and Proof coins in Silver, Gold, Palladium and Platinum were issued, as well as numerous Pieforts.

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